October 16, 2010

Robert H. Manning Memorial Light

location-Empire, MI
active beacon-yes
players-Jen, John, Lincoln, Spencer, Jackson, Lucky, Manya, Grandpa, Hershe, Monkey Michael and Chloe

This day was so action packed that it is going to have to be split into two posts.  It included two lighthouses, two restaurants, a playground, a museum, a scenic color tour, sand dunes and Halloween games.  Whew.  It was a lot, but the kids did great and had a ton of fun.  They keep asking, "when can we go there again, Mommy?".  Jackson took a couple car seat naps and the big boys slept great that night.  
We started out trying to go to our favorite Traverse City breakfast spot, The Omelette Shoppe. Apparently, it's everyone else's favorite also, because it was an hour wait.  So, we did the only sane thing we could do and went to Jimmy John's in the same parking lot.  They just opened and we were the first and only one's there.

Next stop, Robert H. Manning Memorial Light.  This lighthouse is the second newest in Michigan.  It was built and named for Robert H. Manning by his family soon after his death in 1989.  He loved to fish on Lake Michigan and often said how helpful it would be to have a lighthouse to aid him at night.  It is located in Empire along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Village Park and has been added to the United States Coast Guards nautical charts.  The park has a really nice playground and a beautiful sandy beach.

horse play
Stewarts minus Jackson

guys with pink dogs

big brother Lincoln checking on sleeping baby

boys having fun
then it got kicked up a couple notches
who's having more fun?

today's players minus Jax
Jackson slept through this one

Next, we headed up the Leelanau Peninsula to The Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station Maritime Museum.

Spenc, Linc and Manya
Spencer concluded the museum with a parking lot wipe out
good thing Mommy always travels with a first aid kit!

Grand Traverse Lighthouse

location-Northport, MI
automated light tower-1972
players-Jen, John, Lincoln, Spencer, Jackson, Lucky, Manya, Grandpa, Hershe, Monkey  Michael and Chloe

Since it was October in northern Michigan we obviously had to do a scenic color tour.  Although the whole drive was beautiful, we had to take in the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.  It's approximately seven miles and overlooks the Glen Lakes, the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lake Michigan.
beginning of the drive
Lincoln taking it all in

a wee bit windy


Next, we continued north to the very tip of the Leelanau Peninsula.  The Grand Traverse Lighthouse is in the Leelanau State Park, nine miles north of Northport.  This will be our last lighthouse exploration of 2010.
the scarecrows helped guide us

all the boys
he's awake for this one

that is one cute baby!
Daddy in back

mommy in front
in the tower
The lighthouse was all decked out for Halloween and they had games and prizes for the kids.  The inside was haunted, we had to ask to people around each corner not to jump out and scare the kids.

automated light tower
Our last stop of the day was dinner in Suttons Bay at the Village Inn.  It's the oldest restaurant in Leelanau County, established in 1871.

getting very sleepy

what a trooper!

The kids concluded 2010 with two stamps in our passports, six lighthouse visits and lots of fun adventures along the way.  What a great start to our Stewart Family Lighthouse Explorations. We can't wait for spring 2011!